’Twill be my joy through the ages to sing of His love for me.

One of my worst fears is that I’m not enough. That my friends secretly don’t like me. That I am a burden to my parents. That I won’t ever graduate and even if I do then I won’t find a job. That I will never fall in love. Some of these are completely irrational. I thought they all were, but sometimes that scary feeling of doubt becomes reality. These doubts try to steal my happiness. This morning at church though, they discussed the difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is tangible and can be changed. Joy is from You, Lord. Joy is eternal and cannot be taken from me.

They also talked about how You were a just God, a God that disciplines, not just a God of love. I was always taught both. I was taught that You are just because You are love. You are a parent. You teach us right from wrong because You love us. You discipline us, but You do it from a place of love. I don’t think You are one without the other. I focus too much on the storm itself sometimes. The storm isn’t the important part. It’s what we learn from the storm. It’s that You never left us through the storm.

I have always felt the need for approval from others. I’m working on it, but it’s still there. I am a strong, motivated, organized, competent, fully capable person, but I still have a tendency to act like a doormat and let people completely determine my happiness. I still have a tendency to let my fears control me. On Klove this week they said: “When you fear God, you fear nothing else.” I needed this reminder.

You have seen me at my complete worst. You see more than anyone else sees. These people that look down on me and don’t see my potential when haven’t even seen half of me. You saw me in middle school when I didn’t react to things the way I should. You saw me through the terrible teen years where I talked back to my parents. You saw my every negative and bad thought. You saw me go through a half gallon of ice cream in one day because I was upset. You saw me when I was a little kid and I didn’t wanna share with my sister. You’ve seen me break things. You heard every bad word I’ve ever said. You saw me hurt people I loved. You saw me do every single wrong thing I’ve ever done. You have seen allllll of me. The good, the bad, and certainly the ugly, but one thing remains, You love me.

Because You love me, You have taught me quite a few things growing up. You have been my guide and my light. Lynn Cowell said: “Time of change can pull out the worst in us, tempting us to behave in ways we’re not proud of. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to see and choose, today, the opportunities we have to do good.” She also said: “Jesus, if I am going to show and do any good today, it is going to have to be by Your Spirit living through me.” Acts 3:19 says: “Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.” Because You are loving and just, I am changed. Because You are loving and just, I stand amazed.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that I let go of the insecurities. I pray that I turn my eyes and focus from other things. I pray that I spend more time with you. Thank you for teaching me. Thank you for guiding me. Thank you for being the light in the darkness. Thank you for being just. Thank you for showing mercy and grace. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for giving me life. Thank you for giving a joy that cannot be taken. Thank you for your word. Thank you for creating me. Thank you for working on me. I pray that because I am forgiven that I am changed. I pray that I see the opportunities to do good today. I pray that your spirit is living through me. I pray that because I fear you, I fear nothing else. I pray that I learn to react to things better. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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